The Associated Press reported in August that Robert Reeder, a Maryland man, pleaded guilty to “parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.” He argued for leniency because, “he is a registered Democrat who wasn’t a supporter of former President Donald Trump.” So why did he join the incursion into the Capitol building? Because, he says, he was an “accidental tourist” with nothing better to do.
But an online group that calls itself Sedition Hunters recently tweeted a picture it says shows that same “accidental tourist” attacking a police officer. Curiously, the “accidental tourist,” who didn’t support Donald Trump, happened to be wearing a red “MAGA”-style hat. His attorney argued in court, “Mr. Reeder is not politically active, is not and has never been a member of any right-wing or anti-government or extremist group and has, unfortunately, been publicly grouped with many others (whose) views he abhors.”
The story reminds one of John Sullivan, a Black Lives Matter activist who infiltrated the January 6 incursion to encourage violence, bully police officers, and generally stoke mayhem. While many of the trespassers remain locked up without bail, Sullivan mysteriously received pre-trial release.
But there’s more. As I’ve written before, the January 6 event has a statistically anomalous count of suicide victims among police officers. Additionally, one officer’s widow has now sued two men she says inflicted a grievous head injury on her husband, possibly leading to his suicide. Her complaint claims,
Open-source intelligence materials found at https://seditionhunters.org/insider-1107/ appear to depict Defendant [Taylor F.] Taranto throughout the Capitol Insurrection engaged in other unlawful acts. In addition, and upon information and belief, said website appears to show Defendant Taranto with the weapon used to assault Officer Smith. Upon information and belief, the weapon appears to be the Ka-Bar TDI ‘self-defense’ cane.
The complaint further alleges, “Co-Defendant Taranto handed a cane or crowbar (or similar object) to Kaufman. Kaufman, in turn, violently swung the cane and struck Officer Smith in the face/head.”
Who is Dr. David Walls-Kaufman, the man accused of striking the officer? According to the Huffington Post, he is a chiropractor based blocks away from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Why hasn’t the FBI arrested Walls-Kaufman? A civil complaint has attached video stills purporting to show Walls-Kaufman confronting a police officer with a long cane-like object in his hand. But thus far, he has not faced criminal charges.
Walls-Kaufman has since filed an answer to the accusation that he assaulted the police officer. In that document, he denies assaulting the police officer but refuses to directly answer most of the other allegations claiming, “Defendant is without sufficient information or knowledge.” His “denial,” however, is a clever legal trick. Walls-Kaufman isn’t denying hitting the officer with the cane. He’s claiming he didn’t “assault” the officer.
Yet there’s one additional strange story to have arisen in the past few days. Reuters recently reported that John Pierce, a defense lawyer representing 17 defendants in the January 6 prosecutions, has disappeared. Finally, a non-lawyer who claimed to work with Pierce reported to the court that Piece had a “conflict.” Pierce missed several more court dates without explanation.
Then, as the New York Times reported, “Federal prosecutors issued letters to several judges in 17 Capitol riot cases, informing them that no one in the Justice Department had heard from Mr. Pierce in a week and that ‘multiple’ phone numbers for his law firm appeared to have been disconnected.” Pierce, the Times further noted, “said he intends to implicate the F.B.I. and the intelligence community by showing that the riot was something like a grand act of entrapment or an inside job.”
According to the Times, Pierce’s unlicensed associate “told a judge in one case that Mr. Pierce had gotten Covid-19 and was in the hospital on a ventilator—but only after telling a prosecutor in another case that Mr. Pierce had been in a car accident.”
There’s a fourth weird story. Social media has promoted a September 18 Capitol rally to follow-up on the January 6 protest. But the “Proud Boys” have denied that any such rally is being organized. Rather, the Proud Boys have called the event “bait,” writing, “we aren’t going and you shouldn’t either because [everybody is] going to jail . . . If you rally in DC right now, you’re an idiot and you’re going to get people thrown in jail or worse.” The FBI said of the event, “This rally has obtained a permit. The numbers are expected to be large.” Who applied for this permit? The Proud Boys or the FBI?
John Sullivan urged the people around him to burn down the Capitol. Yet he was not among those who continue to be held without bail. Reeder and Walls-Kaufman were both apparently caught on camera assaulting police officers, Walls-Kauffman allegedly with a deadly weapon. Yet Reeder is being allowed to settle his case with a “parading” conviction while Walks-Kaufman faces no charges at all. What really happened on January 6?